There’s been an ongoing debate on whether students must wear school uniforms or not. Those in support, wants students to be able to identify themselves as certified students from a particular school. Others believe that there is no need for school uniforms because it subdues individualism and suppresses students from expressing themselves.
To weigh the advantages and disadvantages, we have compiled a list of the pros and cons of school uniforms.
Breaking down class barriers.
School uniforms break down class barriers because everybody looks the same. It is very easy to identify those with the most and least economic privileges when students do not wear uniforms in school. A typical contention used in favour of school uniforms is that when students wear uniforms, obvious class markers that differentiate rich kids between poor kids are significantly reduced if not eliminated.
Improving student focus.
Another valid argument that’s often used in favour of school uniforms is that wearing one can increase student focus. Although there is no solid evidence that may corroborate this, it is easy to argue that when students do not have to think about what they need to wear to school, they can spend all their mental energy on learning in class. Uniforms also adds a sort of disciplined learning.
Increasing sense of community within and outside school grounds.
School uniforms can help build a community bonding in and outside of school as students, including alumni, empathise over the dress code they all associate with during their school days.
When schools that have uniforms think about removing the uniform requirement, usually it is the alumni that speak out in favour of upholding the tradition of school uniforms.
Promoting safety within the school premises.
When a school requires students to wear school uniforms, it becomes a lot easier to identify trespassers or those that don’t belong in the school. It becomes easier to recognise people who are not allowed on campus. If a gate crasher is wearing something that is not the allowed according to the school dress code, they will be sticking out like sore thumbs when they are in the midst of teachers and students who are following the required dress code.
Additional expenses for parents.
Maintaining a student in school uniforms may be a lot more expensive than buying regular clothes. Usually, uniforms are only sold by a limited number of suppliers. The lack of competition not to mention having a captive market keeps the prices high. In addition, a uniform will also include more expensive accessories and other items such as blazers and dress shoes. All these, when added, might be a struggle to afford for some families.
Limiting self-expression among students.
Those that have an opposing view regarding the imposition of school uniforms believe that it limits the students right to self-expression. Teens, in particular, are known for their need to express themselves in all sorts of the form including what they wear. Schools can be tough on teens as it is without taking away their freedom to express themselves.
Sexism in school uniforms.
Some parents believe that imposing school uniforms can be sexist. For instance, if a school requires students to wear skirts instead of pants, these may be seen as a form of sexism which may lead to conflict between parents and the school administration. Not everyone is keen to wear skirts and some are bound to dislike being told to wear only customary feminine apparel. Similarly, if a student is not sure of his or her gender inclination, imposing them to wear school uniforms can be quite a huge challenge.
School uniforms may lead to bullying.
Although school uniforms may create a sort of camaraderie within the school grounds, outside is a different story. Students from schools that do not require the wearing of school uniforms may tease or mock those that are required to follow a specific set of dress code. This may not by a regular occurrence but there’s been a lot of accounts and reports regarding this kind of incidence.
The pros and cons of school uniforms only show that when imposed without politics but with compassion and consideration, it can definitely provide an environment that promotes equality and enables students to focus on their studies. Going to school is not supposed to be a fashion dilemma. After all, students are there to learn and not to be glamorous. Regardless of the argument, each side poses a great assertion that must be considered.
On the other hand, school uniforms are becoming more popular across all types of learning institutions. Even some colleges are imposing them today mainly because the advantage of doing so weighs more than its disadvantages. It provides a better image for the school and helps students be more steadfast in following school rules and regulations.